The Savvy VetTech

The Top 5 WORST smells in Vet Med!

by Lori Hehn - February 17, 2016 at 9:00 AM
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worstsmells.pngVet Med is rarely all puppies, kitties, and the smell of roses.

I remember when I started working at the veterinary hospital for the first time as a freshman in college. I was a semi-assistant/kennel vet tech just getting my feet wet in the veterinary world. I was assigned to taking care of a sweet little parvo puppy in the isolation ward. 

teeth.pngLet's just say I had no prior experience with parvo. I went to check on this precious puppy to find a HUGE puddle of the worst smelling diarrhea on the face of the planet. And these little cutie was half sitting in it and flinging it around the kennel with his tail. I immediately began dry heaving into the nearby trashcan. 

Yes, I got over it. I had no choice! We are constantly bombarded by some serious stenches in our profession!

Here are what I think are the worse smells we often encounter.

  1. Parvo-viral diarrhea (As I mentioned, this smell is just hard to top.)
  2. Anal glands: Just part of our daily routine to express these tiny wonders! But, sometimes one of the worst odors.
  3. Abscesses: There's nothing like a big nasty cat abscess to open the senses!
  4. Electrocautery: Barbecue anyone? Is it wrong that the smell of burning flesh makes me start thinking about lunch? Gross!
  5. Grade 4 periodontal disease: You can smell it coming a mile away! Free kisses for everyone! 

Can you think of any others? What is the worst smell you have encountered on the job?

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About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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